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Not bad for a guy who didn’t really consider a future in pro football until his junior year at Shippensburg, a school with an undergraduate enrollment of about 7,200 in Shippensburg, Pa. A chemistry major, Kuhn probably would have gone back for a postgraduate degree if he didn’t have a shot at the NFL.

“My coach told me that he thought I could make the jump, and I kind of even batted an eye at that, like, ‘Oh, you’re crazy. This is Shippensburg,’” Kuhn said. “But at the end of the year, I talked to a couple people that knew a couple people and they said, you know, you might have a shot.”

He left Shippensburg as the leading rusher in school history with a total of 4,685 yards.

“A lot of teams liked my size and liked my agility coming out of college because I ran the ball a lot,” Kuhn said. “But they all said basically, ‘You’re going to have to learn how to block in the NFL.’ I tried to take that and do the best I could at it.”

He did, but Packers coaches eventually realized he could be a valuable asset near the goal line. When the Packers‘ marquee receivers are covered, Kuhn sometimes slips through the cracks.

“When we have a red zone meeting, we don’t sit there and talk about John Kuhn, but I think our fans think we do. I’m a little nervous about that,” McCarthy said. “He’s put together two outstanding football games. John is one of the veteran leaders on our team. He’s a tough guy, he’s a detailed guy, he’s a smart guy. He knows what to do when you put him in position to be successful.”

Kuhn attributes his success to hard work, but acknowledges that his skills might have gone overlooked until now.

“Everybody in the NFL has skill,” Kuhn said. “I heard LaDainian Tomlinson one time give a quote that 98 percent of the guys in the NFL could be a star if they just got the chance. And I always thought that was pretty interesting, because I was on the practice squad at the time when I heard that. That was always something that I looked toward for motivation.”